Courtesy of his classmastes, United States Military Academy
Donald Henry Vlcek
No. 13147 • 17 November 1908 – 11 October 1996
Interment: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia
Assigned to the Signal Corps upon graduation from West Point, he was detailed to the Air Corps at completion of Signal Corps Branch School.
He spent 30 months in Central Pacific with units of the 7th AF (3 invasions). He then transferred to the United States Air Force in 1947. He rceived a graduate degree in Electronics from Stanford in 1949.
His entire post–WWII career spent in Research and Development (ten years in guided missile and space development). The highlight of career was Five years at Holloman Air Force Base in charge of construction, shakedown, evaluation, and operation of the High Speed Rocket Test Track (for which recognized as a Pioneer and Authority on “Captive Testing”).
After retirement from the Air Force, he worked as Assistant Director of the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center where he was responsible for the design, construction, shakedown, and operation of a Containment Laboratory Building for basic cancer research entailing carcinogens, cancer cells, viruses, and trial anti-cancer substances. he retired from Ohio State in 1983.
He then made his residence in Columbus, Ohio, and spent winters on Lake Marion, South Carolina.
His elder son (Henry), despite severe polio at age 2, became a U.S. Air Force pilot and flew a combat tour in Southeast Asia and is now head of sales for a semi-conductor company.
His younger son (Douglas) served a tour in the U.S. Marines and is now creative
director of an advertising agency.
His eldest daughter (Stephanie) is a registered nurse in labor and delivery.
Younger daughter (Candace White) is Director of Children’s Services for a group of schools working with the handicapped.
His loving wife (Betty) always a willing volunteer, worker, confidante, booster, and leader within the community (military and/or civilian).
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard